Epic photos of Britain’s giant new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth meeting the USS George H.W. Bush

A pair of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from the Super-Carrier George HW Bush perform a fly-past over the Super-Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Two of Britain’s and America’s most powerful ships met up on Tuesday during their break from sea trials and training.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK’s new £3.5 billion ($US4.6 billion) aircraft carrier, passed by the USS George H.W. Bush off the Scottish coast en route to its new home port of Portsmouth.

The British mega-ship has spent the summer conducting its first sea trials in the North Sea, while its US counterpart was in the Persian Gulf supporting ground troops in their fight against ISIS.

Getty Images

The Queen Elizabeth is now in British waters to take part in the training exercise known as Saxon Warrior, where it is hosting 60 members of the British Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The training began on August 1.

The British carrier was on its way to Portsmouth after more than two months of sea trials in the North Sea.

Below are some epic photos from the meetup:

The British carrier was on its way to Portsmouth after more than two months of sea trials in the North Sea
The USS George H.W. Bush was taking part in Saxon Warrior, a multiday joint exercise led by the Royal Navy
The British commanders also had some time to socialise. Kyd invited Commodore Andrew Betton, the leader of the Saxon Warrior exercises, on board for drinks and sandwiches
The exercise involved over 60 Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines training on board the US carrier

At full strength, the Queen Elizabeth could have 36 fighter jets and four helicopters on board. But at the moment, it’s empty.

The UK has 10 F-35 fighter jets, a Ministry of Defence spokesman told Business Insider UK, but none is in the country. The US contractor Lockheed Martin built them, and they are scheduled to be delivered to the UK in 2018. The earliest they could fly live combat missions is 2020.

A Royal Navy Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II

The ministry expects to have 138 F-35s in the 2020s, the spokesman added.

 

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